Julianne Hough’s Puppy Overcomes Fears – with Help from Veterans

Julianne Hough with dog Harley (center) and celebrity dog trainer Tamar Geller (far left) with members of Operation Heroes & Hounds

updated 12/18/2011 AT 12:20 PM ET

originally published 12/19/2011 AT 9:00 AM ET

Like anyone with a new puppy, Julianne Hough has had to go through some growing pains with Harley, the Cavalier King Charles spaniel she brought home in April.

Most recently, the nearly 1-year-old pup, who Hough calls a “”little has been working through a big issue: her fear of strangers.

Harley’s trainer, celebrity dog guru Tamar Geller, has helped canine lovers like Oprah Winfrey and Ben Affleck, and devised a plan to help Harley overcome her anxiety.

On Dec. 9, Hough attended an L.A. session of Geller’s Operation Heroes & Hounds program, which helps shelter dogs and war veterans overcome post-traumatic stress disorder and learn new life skills.